Seattle Times Names New Managing Editor and Deputy Managing Editor

For Immediate Release — Jul. 14, 2015
Lindsay Taylor, Consumer Marketing Manager

In a move designed to integrate digital planning from story inception, Seattle Times Editor Kathy Best has named Jim Simon the newsroom’s managing editor and Michele Matassa Flores its deputy managing editor.

Simon will oversee the newsroom’s digital, metro, business, enterprise and investigations teams. Matassa Flores will have responsibility for visuals, sports, features and the news desk.

“Jim and Michele are top-flight journalists who push every day for compelling, well-told watchdog and enterprise stories that demonstrate to readers why The Seattle Times matters,’’ Best said. “In this reorganization, I'm charging them and Assistant Managing Editors Ryan Blethen (digital), Whitney Stensrud (visuals) and Leon Espinoza (universal desk) to find ways to more tightly integrate digital into everything we do, from enterprise planning to effective social sharing to changing the way we think about storytelling.’’

Simon has spearheaded some of the newsroom’s most innovative journalism, including the Education Lab project that was recently honored by APME judges for its “smart, elegant approach’’ to questions about how to fix ailing schools. The project combined deeply reported, solutions-based journalism with digital and print reader call-outs, guest columns, live chats, Google Hangouts and public forums.

In 2018, Simon will become president of the Associated Press Media Editors, where he now serves as an officer. He has spent most of his career at The Seattle Times. As a senior editor, he helped oversee coverage that won Pulitzer Prizes for breaking news in 2010 and 2015.  He also worked as the paper’s environmental reporter, lead political reporter, and staff writer for Pacific Northwest Sunday magazine.

Prior to joining The Times, he worked as a UPI reporter in the Philippines.  He has taught journalism at the University of Washington and Seattle University. He also has training experience in Southeast Asia, where he was a Knight Journalism Fellow in Indonesia and East Timor.

Matassa Flores joined The Seattle Times in 1988 as a suburban bureau reporter, then worked as a business reporter for about 10 years before becoming an editor. She has served as assistant business editor, co-metro editor, deputy investigations editor, features editor and AME for sports and features. Matassa Flores left The Times for five years in 2008 and helped edit the news website Crosscut and the Puget Sound Business Journal. She rejoined The Times in 2013. A graduate of the University of Oregon, she spent three years at the Salem Statesman-Journal before moving to Seattle to work for The Times.